The Relationship Between Self-Reported Emotional Strain and Ambulatory Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
Experimental psychosocial stress has been identified as causing disease in certain animal populations , and it is now widely accepted that adverse stress also contributes to cardiovascular morbidity in humans . Part of this contribution may be explained by stress-induced alterations in established cardiovascular risk factors . Epidemiologic surveys, for example, have documented that cardiovascular risk factors are elevated after natural disasters [4, 5]. However, most of the evidence about pathophysiological stress effects is derived from laboratory studies. It is well established that blood pressure increases in response to mental stress . Even short-term increases in blood pressure (BP) may contribute to chronic BP elevation by structural vascular changes and subsequently increasing total peripheral resistance . Presumably BP or factors associated closely to BP changes have some trophic effects on the vascular wall, thereby increasing BP reactivity, and, as a self-perpetuating process, this leads to reduced internal vascular diameters and enhanced vascular resistance . Taking this into account, a pathogenetic significance of stress for onset and maintenance of arterial hypertension might be suggested, and patients should be encouraged to avoid stressful situations if possible.
KeywordsDepression Covariance Arteriosclerosis Nitrendipine Oxprenolol
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